Titles & Covers

Distracted by the remodel, as well as a couple weeks of intense boy issues related to sports and academics, I stopped writing on Shey’s book. I couldn’t focus on anything but getting well and through the crisis, but an email from my editor yesterday reminded me that I can’t be distracted. I can’t allow myself to lose my mojo. I have contracts and deadlines and Shey’s book has been slotted for July 2010 and my editor needs the book soon.

That means I have to write, and fortunately, yesterday I did write. It took me from 9 am until 6 pm but I slogged through until I hit fifteen pages. That’s a long day at my desk for only fifteen pages, but pages are pages and it’s progress which I desperately need.

My editor has also asked for any cover concept or title ideas for Shey’s book to be able to present at the meeting next week and I’ve nothing for her. I can describe Mac’s room (grown up safari theme with a black and white faux zebra rug, pale green walls, and three black and white framed prints of a giraffe against the savannah, an extreme close up of a bull elephant, and then a sweet shot of a baby elephant peeping from his mother’s legs). I can tell her that my son Jake wants his new room done in a Seattle Seahawk theme. I can talk about my Hawaii house and how I’ve ordered nursery furniture for when I spend the summer there. But I can’t picture anything for Shey’s story.

Now, I’m writing it, and I’m loving it and I teared up twice yesterday when writing one particular passage that involves her oldest son, but the sexy, fun, flirty packaging? Not a clue. I write from the inside out. I write from Shey’s heart and it’s not a sexy, fun, flirty heart at the moment. Her heart is a mother’s heart and she’s worried about her boys.

Of course there will be sexy, flirty moments, and there’s the sexiest guy yet in this book. Dane Kelly is a gorgeous, gorgeous, male in his prime. A former bullriding champ, he now raises bucking bulls on his Palo Pinto County ranch and he’s Shey’s first love. Back then she was too young for him but they’re both single now and there’s still the same crazy chemistry, only having lost his five year old son, he’s not looking for another family, much less a family with three teenage boys.

And that, in a nutshell, is what I’m working on. Have any ideas for a cover? Got any fun, sexy, flirty title suggestions? Or just want to chat? Well, post a comment below and you’ll have a chance to win another colorful sarong from Hawaii, a signed copy of the mass market edition of Flirting with Forty, and some yummy chocolate macadamia nuts (plus lots of JP reader goodies). The contest will run through tomorrow night, Thursday night, midnight and I’ll post the winner’s name Friday morning.

So talk to me, brainstorm some ideas for me, or just keep me company while I pound away on my novel, and with some luck and hard work I’ll have a great new, novel out in 2010!


  1. Hang in there! You’ll get there, it’s only human that your mind is elsewhere!

    I’m going to think about ideas for book covers today… hopefully I can come up with something fabulous and get back to ya!

    Take care!

  2. Humm….

    “Meanwhile Back at the Ranch”?
    “Home to Texas”?

    I guess without knowing something more about the book… can’t really come up with a title.

    But for the cover, what about a woman leaning on a fence looking out to the sunset on the range?


    Meanwhile… I’m high on caffeine waiting for the Rita list!

  3. I have to tell you that I am in absolute awe of you, that you are able to function to the level that you are at…blogging, writing, remebering to feed your other kids.
    When I was pregnant I had the world’s worst case of pregnancy brain. I couldn’t even sit through a half hour sitcom without my mind wandering. My twins are two and a half and I’m just starting to feel like my old self.
    The fact that you can concentrate at all is awesome!
    You are a great inspiration that maybe I will be able to function if I ever decide to have a third one.
    You Rock!
    Shannon in Tucson

  4. Hi Jane,

    I wish I could help you out with the book in some way, but I don’t have even an ounce of your creativity. I can and will wish you the best with this book, I’m sure it will be just as great as the others.

    ps. Baby Mac’s room sounds wonderful.

  5. You can do it, Jane! You’ve always been so inspiring to me. And just reading your description of the book inspired ME to write a bit (and I’m in that between books funk). I’m coming up empty on cover ideas though.

    (p.s. don’t put my in the drawing for the sarong, omg I’ve got big hips!)

  6. Jane,

    I am going to have to think about title ideas and covers…The book sounds fantastic!! So do your sons’ rooms!! We have a friend Ned Bolcar who played for Seattle at one time. He is retired now but lives near us. Sweetest man.

    When I get bogged down or doubt myself, I listen to One Step at a Time by Jordin Sparks…It works for me!! Everything will work out!!

  7. cover idea..let me thinks..I liked the style of your previous covers a lot! Why not something involving a gorgeous dress? Or a beatiful window view with a far away couple who are standing near eachother (like watching from a window to the beach, I hope you get my idea!)
    all the best and good luck!

  8. Jane,

    Loved Flirting w/ Forty – I saw the movie on W Network in Canada and ordered the book a day or two later. Inspiration comes in many forms – who knew!

    As for a title for your new project how about borrowing a phrase from the world of rodeo? Cowboy Up: it means when things are getting tough you have to get back up, dust yourself off and keep trying. When faced with a hard chore, it’s a shift in attitude from “can’t” to a positive “can-do” with confidence and a non-complaining spirit that becomes contageous. It is the spirit of contribution, hard work and strong determination.

    Best of luck…

  9. Hi Jane,

    Have you thought of the boys on horse back coming in from the range to be with their mother and new father on the cover with the mountains in the back. Just a thought. Title Can’t think of one. Have a great day.

  10. Well…if the cover is supposed to be sexy, flirty and fun and not nostalgic…how about your hero on hands and knees give a “horsey” ride to the heroine like we used to do when we were kids? Only they’re not kids now…

  11. Wow, after hearing about his new nursery, I wish I was baby Mac!

    I know nothing about book covers or designs, but I sure hope you find your mojo back soon because I love reading your books and your blogs!

  12. Dear Jane,

    I so agree with #3,Shannon,and Jan#8. It’s fine to feel as you are. Cut yourself some huge slack !
    You and I are both the exact same age. I am freakin’ exhausted all the time, and I’m not pregnant! You balance so much,being a mom to 2, mac on the way,Surfer Ty in Hawaii ,an extremely demanding and successful career (i am tired just thinking about it!).
    So relax and hold on, you are almost to the finish line!!
    As Jan says, “COWBOY UP”, I really think you should try and incorporate that into your book!

  13. Your nursery sounds like a fun room. Congratulations on sticking it out for the day of writing and getting your pages done. I’m bad at titles but here’s some:
    That’s a Load of Bull
    Bucking the Norm
    One Wild Ride
    Wave the Red Flag

  14. i love sharing but at the moment my head is full of snot and i cant breath- head colds are not fun! the book sounds fantastic though!

  15. I agree with “cowboy up”, too. “Rein me in”

    I like photos with the couple together, like the both of them sharing a horse, her in front……his arms around her…..she is leaning back into him. Maybe on a ranch looking into the mountains. I also like beautiful nature photos like we have out here, Mt. Rainier, stuff like that.

    Or maybe a picture of him lassoing her?

    I can’t imagine being as far along as you are and having deadlines, writing, doing all you do. I said that before but I will repeat myself only because it is so true. Awe, Jane, I am in awe. 🙂

  16. How about
    ‘Too Much Testoterone in Texas’
    cute huh?
    I thought it a play of all the guys in Shay’s life.

    You said Dale is a “male is his prime. How about
    ‘USDA Prime Male’.
    I find myself laughing at that one

    You said he used to be a bullriding champ. How about
    ‘He Bucked She Banged’
    I know these are all awful but they are funny.

    Keep those fingers flying across your keyboard.

  17. I think I left after reading summer in Hawaii 🙂 As a pregnant mom, that’s where your heart is right now and the title will come to you when it’s meant to

  18. Jane,
    Keep up the great work writing. It must be so hard to focus when you’re so excited about the baby, not to mention mothering your older boys. You are truly talented, though, and I love your novels. Your mojo is in there, you’re just a little slowed down right now.

  19. How about Shey’s Life, I am not good at this but I can see why your mind is else where. If I had a baby on the way that is where my mind would be all the time.

  20. Hi Jane, can’t wait to see little Mac. You are quite the writing mashine, that’s great that you can still write so much.

    I liked the “One wild ride”, all I could think about is “Back in the saddle”, “Hanging Tight”,”Tight ropes”, “Bareback”, “There can’t be any fear”, I imagine you need courage to do bullriding and even more courage to have 3 new teenage sons. I hope you’ll get some inspiration from those.

  21. Jane,
    Your new book sounds intriguing. How about pic of Shey and cowboy in each others arms with sunset in background of field with horses?
    Some title ideas:
    Eight Seconds is Never Enough
    Hold on tight
    Final Ride

    The nursery sounds great!!

  22. From one writer to another, 15 pages is a very, very good day of writing! A long, exhausting day, but a good day. Congrats on pushing through with your book while you have so much going on!

  23. Jane,

    Keep up the good work with the writing. I know that you will get all the remodeling done in plenty of time and the Macster will be just fine. He’s just giving you a taste of the havoc he’s going to create. You know how boys can be.

    Maybe the cover can show Shey lassoing a bullriding buckle.

    I will have to think on titles.

  24. I saw the baby elephant at the zoo when it was only 5 days old, standing under its mother’s legs and it was the sweetest thing ever! The decor for the baby’s room sounds perfect!
    A cover and title for a book, now that is really hard. “Bullish on Love” doesn’t work – it sounds like the stock market, and it is horses, not bulls, right? Maybe something about getting back on the horse would be good, with Dane on his bottom in the dirt and the horse that bucked him off looking down, with Shey giving him a hand? – something symbolizing giving love another chance after getting dumped or hurt. Or “Sharing Shay” because of her kids with a corral scene for the cover? I will keep thinking about this and maybe get a real flash of inspiration, that is all I have for you now.

  25. I’m thinking female foreground left (just her right and not her face showing), male foreground right (just his left and no face showing), and a farm/field-esque backdrop with the silhouette of three boys riding horses, metaphorically between them. And I’m thinking, knowing nothing of the story, “Rocks and Hard Places”

    Good luck. I am a stranger and a fan, but find myself rooting for you every time I read your blog. Good luck!

  26. heres my two cents.
    How about the title
    “Second chance ranch”
    since it’s their second chance at love, and of course it will be successfull as well.
    as for the cover, a silhouette of a couple sittingon the same horse face to face about to kiss?
    okay corny but that’s what my brain is coming up with right now.
    good luck!

  27. Ok… you’ve got plenty of cowboy themed titles, but how about, “Take Two”, since she’s in the bizz. The cover could be a man and a women, standing back to back (possibly in western wear??), to symbolize togetherness, yet hesitant to look at each other and go forward. Boy, you’ve got it tough. I don’t know how you do it!! Good luck, it will come to you, probably in bed or in the shower (where all great ideas come!)

  28. Well, I visualized the nursery theme and love it! What a wonderful idea…

    Wish I had some ideas, but I have 3 books that I’m reading and I can barely keep myself straight! Guess that’s what spring break is for! 🙂

  29. Jane,
    You write the best blogs and they are always so entertaining so I know you’ll know the right title when it comes to you. You are really amazing with all that you do each day. Hopefully you’ll get to relax some after the baby comes and you get to beautiful Hawaii. I know that sounds impossible with a baby but have your 3 guys help you a lot!!!

  30. This is going to sound strange but I would recommend going to Pioneer Woman’s website and looking at her amazing photography. Complete with lots of sexy cowboys on her ranch! Cowboy buns in wranglers, etc! That might “inspire” you! 🙂

  31. I think you have already stated the title. I like Crazy Chemistry. I can see one of Shey’s boys becoming interested in bull riding and acquiring Dane as a mentor out of respect for Shey. I can see their love rekindling as their friendship grows through the mutual interest of seeing her son succeed. They grow together as a family and he realized what an amazing thing it is to be loved and be part of a family. She helps him to move past the loss of his son and opens his heart. How do you not have great sex and passion as you relearn the art of a relationship. He remembers all the things he has always wanted and missed. The secret desire for Shey has never died. What do you think?

  32. Jane, Just getting updates from you are wonderful to read. It doesn’t have to be anything profound or inspiring. I enjoy your sense of humor, your unique way of conveying your feelings and your warmth and love for your boys and your friends and fans. Remember that we all rejoice with you, laugh with you, and cry with you. Even though you feel anything but your normal self right now, it’s more than normal to be feeling the way that you do while giving so much to baby Mac.
    So now that I’ve said that… on to the title and cover. The title that comes to my mind for Shey’s next book is “Of Legacy and Love” because you mentioned before that Shey will be returning to her family’s ranch property in Texas. As for a cover… I liked Sarah’s (#2 post) idea about a woman leaning on a fence looking out to the sunset on the range. Add a silhouette of her man on a horse in front of that sunset riding towards her. Possibly with a beautiful Texas ranch/farm house in the distance as well.

  33. Jane, my friend, you’re awesome. How you do it is beyond me at times. I love the vision of Mac’s room that I have in my head as you describe it.

    I love cowboy stories and ranches and all that goes with them.
    How about: Lassoo My Heart; Come Away With Me; Love Second Time Around; Blazin Trails;

    For the cover: two horses in the front nuzzling noses and a man and woman in the background looking on with the biggest smiles on their faces. A lovely blue sky and golden sun shining on a brook or something.

  34. For the cover I can see Dane on his horse, on the left side as if riding in to the scene…Shey on the right who is looking at her teen sons in the middle (up and beyond) who are involved with their own sport (baseball bat, soccer ball, basketball, tennis racket, for example). Dane is looking at Shey while Shey is admiring her boys in the distance. For the title: Shey Me, Sway Me.

  35. It’s Shey’s story, so think only she should be on the cover.


    My Ex Lives in Texas
    You Can Go Home Again
    You Can Take the Girl From the Texas…(too long, I know).


  36. Dear Jane: There isn’t anything you can’t do. I’ve not a creative bone in my body. But you on the other hand will certainly muster up a cover in no time. I know it is so hard for you right now but I know you can do it. Just remember how much we all love and respect you and admire the guts and gusto you possess. Take
    care of you and Baby Boy Mac.

  37. I am thinking of a cover themed around a Stetson hat… in the dust, on the corral fence, dangling from the horn of a bull, floating downstream, something that evokes bull riding, the West and a major cowboy symbol. Titles are hard; unless you are deep in the story and themes it’s difficult to pick a title.

    Love the safari theme for little Mac’s room, sounds great!
    And 15 pages is 15 pages — 15 more than you had yesterday!

  38. For the cover, how about having Shey and her boys watching Dane work with a bull in a corral or just Shey wearing western gear in front of a ranch house.

    Conquering the Cowboy
    Second Chance Romance
    For the Love of a Cowboy

  39. Hi Jane! For the cover, how about a full picture of Shey in western gear with her ranch and horses in the background.

    For the title, how about:
    The Cowboy and The Lady
    His Loving Brand
    The Bullrider’s Bride
    Magic in the Air
    A Dangerous Attraction
    Hold Onto Love
    Ride’Em, Cowboy!
    Texas Tornado
    Texas Tempest
    Wild Ride
    His Hot Brand
    Forever Yours
    Hot To Trot
    Saddles ‘N Spurs

    Hang in there, Jane! You’re in the homestretch now!

  40. Hi Jane,

    Wow! I am so impressed with your work ethics! How do you do it?

    Your covers have been magnificent in the past. Gosh, a new cover theme? How about a handsome man on horseback, with his shirt off, wearing his cowboy hat, a little smirk of a smile on his face, and a sunset in the background. He is riding on an angle, coming from right background to left foreground. His belt buckle could have an important image on it that reflects your story.

    As for a title, that is harder since I don’t know what your story is about. I will throw out some suggestions for you.

    Romancing The Cowboy
    The Hitching Post
    Big Sky Country Dreams
    Saddling Up Sally
    Country Woman and Her Cowboy

    Skylar (could use the name of the town the book is set in)

    That is all I can think of Jane. Have a great week!

  41. WOW! Everyone has great ideas! I’m gonan ask y’all for help when I need a book title! 😉 I can’t come up with one for my own book.

    Jane~ I have faith that when it all comes together your book will flow out. There’s nothing worse than not feeling like writing when its one of your favorite things to do. I have forced myself before. I have been trying to work hard on my rewrite and you know how you can always find somethng else to do!

    Love the nursery theme! I was trying to talk my son into that when we moved into this new house but he picked a sports theme and he’s not even that into sports! He likes them okay but…It’s got a lot of Chicago Bears and Milwaukee Bucks things and did turn out really cool. I’m very proud of it. Decorating is so much fun!

    Take care!!!

  42. I have no inspiration for titles on the new book, but for cover I’m thinking Dallas 2010! A little beauty, a little dust, and some four-legged creatures.

    Love the nursery! So creative and adorable–not baby-ish at all. Bravo girl!!

    Good luck with all of it. You’ll do fine. It’ll come to you when you least expect it.

    Shannon in Tustin

  43. I’d love to see a hunk of a cowboy on a mechanical bull and a cute petite girl with a handful of money for the bull machine .. hmm now the title… ”
    Tradin in my Maytag for a new machine

  44. Jane, Mac’s room sounds so cute! I have no ideas for you…yet. But the book sounds like, as in your usual style, it will be fantastic! Don’t forget to get some rest in your busy schedule!

  45. Good luck, Jane. Like others, I don’t know how you do it!! For a cover, what about going with the theme of Odd Mom Out and Flirting with Forty, and having Shey on the cover, maybe in high heels and a cowboy hat, smiling and tipping the hat down or something to show the two worlds she lives in or something similar? As for titles… Back At The Ranch, Homecoming CowGirl… each of your titles has been descriptive of the heroine so something like that?

    Good luck!!


  46. Alright- I’m stealing from others- but love the “Cowboy Up” theme- and checking out Pioneer woman’s site might offer some inspiration! First vision I had from your description was a bucking bronco- with the profile of a hunk of a man in a cowboy hat….

    Keep on keepin’ on, Jane! You’re amazing with all that you do acomplish, just on a daily basis! Thanks for sharing!

  47. Look at all the encouragement out here!! You share your passion for everything that you love, you’ll pull this off with ease. Baby Mac’s safari room sounds like a fun getaway. As for a title for the book that’s tough, how about Leather & Lace.. Since Shey’s background is modeling and now this unsure Texas cowboy. Is the song going through your head yet?
    I think a title that’s soft with an edge would be fitting Shey was a strong woman in Odd Mom Out who didn’t forget where she came from.

  48. Sorry, can’t help you with a cover – my creative juices are just about all dried up right now! But, those macadamia nuts have my name written all over them! 🙂 The colorful sarong would be a nice promise of warmer days!! Have a wonderful day!

  49. Let’s see….How about:

    Sweet Home Texas
    Bull Rider Wanted
    Taming Shey
    Small Town Girl @ Heart
    Finding Home

    I know you will find the perfect title. Good Luck.

  50. Good morning and happy Friday!

    I’ve drawn #45 Mountainair as the winner for the sarong, Hawaii treats, and signed copy of Flirting with Forty. Congrats, Mountainair, and please email me ASAP with your address.

    AND because no one claimed one of the prizes last week, I’ve drawn another name, and that’s #30 Dawn. Dawn, please email me your mail address and I’ll put your Mystery Package in the next mail!

    Thanks to everyone for posting and playing!



  51. Just re-reading some of the posts and I really liked Kate Hewitt’s idea for the cover since it’s her story.

  52. I’m late, but the room sounds adorable, Jane! What about “Deep in the Heart of Texas.” Is that dorky? I’m not sure. Anyway..have a great day!

  53. Hi,Jane – I’m late also, but had a busy week at work followed by an even busier weekend. Hope you enjoyed reading all of the blog comments and book title ideas. I came up with one on the way to work on Friday, but just now had a chance to send it to you – may already be a book title and/or been sent to you, but here goes – Love Revisited

    Love the safari theme for Mac’s room. Look forward to seeing pictures

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